The dream is as old as mankind: growing old healthily without the annoying deterioration and meanness that comes with an aging body.
Researchers all over the world are currently working on this topic, including the Munich doctor PD Dr. Axel Polack, who also did research at the renowned Helmholtz Institute and is one of the driving forces behind neotes, a German start-up in which a Biontech investor has also invested significant sums and which was rewarded for his research by the Berlin Senate .
expert on aging
“The fact that mice only live one year on average, humans 80 and sharks 200 years is a long process of evolution that is intended. Unlike today, the old people were needed in the original family group of the African steppe to help raise the children. And there is probably an elusive line that makes it impossible for people to live past 120. The oldest German has just died at the age of 113. We cannot and do not want to change anything about that,” said Polack.
Basically, the following applies: “All repair mechanisms are in full bloom in young people, but get worse and worse with age, until the impact of genetic changes eventually becomes stronger than the mechanism that repairs them.
And of course there are a small number of people who are genetically designed to live to be a hundred years old, whether they smoke or are unhealthy. But these are the “happy few” who pass on this gift: Science knows: “Centenarians ( centenarians ) give birth to centenarians.”
Longevity researchers in search of the key to longevity
The core of longevity research has a clear goal: “Statistically, most people’s lives are largely worth living until about 70. But then come the cardiovascular diseases, systemic diseases, cancer, diabetes etc. and limit the quality of life of the last 14 or more years of life considerably. We want and can change that.”
As an example, Dr. Polack so-called senescent cells that “sit around stupidly, emit pollutants and at some point set processes in motion that promote the formation of plaques and blood blockages and, in combination with macrophages and incorrectly composed blood fats, ensure that a vessel ruptures and people have a heart attack or gets a stroke.” And the “chronic inflammation could also trigger type II diabetes and Alzheimer’s.” Which could also apply to osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
In order to know where someone stands biologically, “we are now able to determine the biological age with an accuracy of one to two years using an epigenetic test that records 850,000 markers in the human body. In this way we can say whether a chronologically 80-year-old is perhaps only biologically 70, or vice versa.”
How can these differences arise, Mr. Polack?
“The evaluation of many studies paints a clear picture that a Mediterranean diet consisting of fish, unsaturated fatty acids and nuts, for example, prolongs life. Fish in particular could play a decisive role here as a supplier of the so-called omega2 fatty acids.”
That’s exciting, but where is the stuff that turns back the wheel of time?
“For us, NAD is the stuff dreams are made of. According to the latest theses, this is the factor, the coin with which everything is paid for in energy metabolism. The godfather of Longevity research, David Sinclair, considers NAD to be the central substance. He says that when the NAD shuts down, I no longer have the guardians of the genome, and with that I start harmful inflammatory processes.
Another player is alpha-ketoglutarate, which has been studied in preclinical and clinical studies by Brian Kennedy, another Longevity thought leader, with spectacular results. It is called AKG for short.
It has already been demonstrated in mice that aging processes, including unsteady gait, can be prevented or slowed down by the administration of AKG. As an integral part of the citrate cycle, AKG provides energy to the organisms in the mitochondria.
Best of all: In clinical trials, subjects were able to reduce their biological age by up to eight (!) years by taking alpha-ketoglutarate. This has also been proven in clinical experiments. And very important for women during and after the menopause: It stops the loss of bone mineralization and thus prevents the dreaded osteoporosis, which is responsible for many broken bones and hospital stays.
Another real miracle drug is rapamycin, which has traditionally been used as a pure substance in transplantation medicine to suppress the rejection reaction. Rapamycin has great effects on the immune system and is currently being researched very intensively in a wide variety of models.
Another crucial measure for healthy aging is calorie restriction. Not one-off fasting cures, but a permanent reduction in calories is necessary for this! Eating too many calories causes heart failure, sarcopenia (muscle wasting)… Being overweight early is just awful.”
Do you also deal with the topic of aging? Then write to us: Readers: What do you do to stay fit and healthy for as long as possible?
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